The warm weather is finally here, and it’s that time of year when restaurants in Howard County open their outdoor patios. After being stuck inside for Maryland’s record snowfall this year, hungry customers are looking to make the most out of Spring’s beautiful weather. Here is a list of ten fantastic restaurants for outside dining in Howard County.
1) Donna’s Cafe
Located off of Snowden River Parkway in Columbia, Donna’s offers a unique variety of Mediterranean-inspired dishes, sandwiches, and salads, along with an extensive coffee and wine list. Donna’s is an intimate place to go for lunch and dinner to find fresh food with a Sicilian twist.
2) Aida Bistro
With numerous awards and recognitions for being the best Italian restaurant in the Baltimore area, Aida Bistro is a charming place to dine. Aida Bistro offers classic and non-traditional dishes with a wine bar offering over 70 wines by the glass and bottle. Be sure to check out Aida Bistro as they move their location, which will offer over 30 outdoor seats, down the street in the Columbia Gateway Business Park later this year.
80 outdoor seats fill up Leelynn’s garden-surrounded patio near the Dorsey Search Village Center in Ellicott City. Enjoy live entertainment outside on Thursday and Saturday nights.
In the Columbia Palace Plaza off of Center Park Drive, Strapazza is a casual place to go for classic Italian pizza and pastas.
5) Union Jack’s
One of Howard County’s newest restaurants, Union Jack’s offers over a hundred patio seats for outdoor dining, serving a mix of British-inspired and American grille-style food.
6) Great Sage
Located in Clarksville, Great Sage uses organically grown ingredients in all of their delicious vegetarian dishes. This is a great location for an exotic, healthy and fresh meal.
7) Mimis Cafe
Mimis Cafe opened its first Maryland location in late 2007 in the Gateway Overlook shopping center in Elkridge. Offering breakfast, lunch and dinner, Mimis has about 20 outdoor seats.
8) La Palapa
La Palapa’s is one of Howard County’s best Mexican restuarants, located in Old Ellicott City. Enjoy the patio or open dining room, along with authentic dishes and flavors from Mexico.
9) The Tomato Palace
Owned and operated by Clyde’s Restaurant Group, The Tomato Palace is one of Columbia lakefront’s great outdoor dining spots. The Tomato Palace is an Italian restaurant that is perfect for the whole family.
With over 65 outdoor seats, Clyde’s overlooks Columbia’s beautiful Lake Kittamaqundi. Clyde’s has been a Columbia favorite for 35 years, offering seasonally changing dishes.
Have a favorite restaurant for outdoor dining in Howard County? Let me know at JBrown07@gmail.com
All photographs by Jeff Brown.